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Hi readers, It’s Emily, Kerry and William here today, meeting online and joined by a special guest.

Today we introduce Harry Roche, just back from the EAMHID (European Association of Mental Health and Intellectual Disability) conference in Helsinki.

We have lots of questions for Harry! How are you? What’s this conference? Why did you go? What’s Finland like? And more!

So, welcome Harry! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

“Hello and thank you! It’s good to be here. Like you, I have a learning disability. I live in Hertfordshire and have a full time job with Mencap as their Digital Inclusion Officer. I’ve done lots of other work, like with Inclusion International, and spoken at conferences around the world”.

Wow, Harry does a lot! Why were you at this conference? “Well, I was part of an inclusive research project, run by University College London (UCL) called STORM. The research was done because many people with a learning disability experience stigma. Of course, lots of other people get stigma too, maybe because of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or whatever else, but it can be especially hard for someone with a learning disability to know how to cope if they experience stigma. As a member of the research team, we went to talk about STORM”.

So, who did you go with Harry? “Well, Laura who is online with us today and Manager of People First Dorset (PFD) was there because, as you know, PFD were part of the research team. Leading our group was Professor Katrina Scior from UCL, then Lisa Richardson, a researcher from the Univeristy of Kent, and not least Adrian Brown from the Elfrida Society. Adrian also has a learning, and a physical disability.”

We’re out of room, so tune in next week to find out more from Harry!

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff

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